Simon Ash, UK Sales Manager, HAIX
Our industry hit national headlines in February when Michael Gove published a report called “Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit”. The report suggestions included:
- A dedicated skills drive
- Supporting farmers and landowners to deliver public benefits from the Farming and forestry industry
- Enhancing beauty heritage with the natural environment
- Increased recognition of the benefits to society offered by woods/forests including providing outdoor space for exercise and recreation, contributing to improving agricultural productivity and rural business diversification.
Confor welcomed the efforts as a “historic opportunity” to shape future rural policy and funding, and we will keep a close eye on how this develops over the next couple of months. It does seem as though Brexit is providing us with a clear opportunity to improve as an industry, and we need to do everything we can – before then, to achieve it. We continue to be the industry reporting the highest combined self-reported work related illness and injury, and something needs to give.
In particular, musculoskeletal disorders are the most common-work related ill health conditions. It can be divided into those affecting the upper limb, neck and shoulder (WRULDs), lower limb (WRLLDs) and those affecting the back. In 2016/17, across UK workplaces, 1.8 million working days were lost as a result of WRLLDs.
Once injuries develop, it could become difficult to complete work tasks and daily routines, possibly leading to emotional and financial implications through a lack of work and earnings. To prevent pain and disorders, the best protection is found in footwear that is not only compliant with the government standard EN ISO 20345: 2011, but also offers additional comfort and support with features such as arch support, strong supportive uppers, and uses waterproof and breathable materials, such as GORE-TEX®, to ensure good foot health.
Annually, approximately 15,000 workers across agriculture, forestry and fishing as suffering from an illness they believe was caused or made worse by work, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). With Brexit around the corner and positive steps being taken to transform the industry, do everything you can now to ensure you are as protected as you can be at work.